Holland America Line: Mexican Riviera Christmas Cruise

Holland America Line Mexican Riviera Christmas Cruise

Holland America Line Mexican Riviera Christmas Cruise

Yes, it is early to talk about Christmas travel plans; but sometimes it is better to be in-the-know ahead of time so you don’t miss out on a great adventure!

Holland America has a Christmas cruise along the Mexican Riviera which departs from San Diego on December 18th and returns on December 26th. It is well worth your time to check it out now! It’s just eight days and you stop in Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas.

San Diego at Christmas

San Diego at Christmas

Having experienced the trip last Christmas, I know firsthand that there are certainly several things almost anyone will enjoy! The port in San Diego is a joy from which to depart and begin your cruise. San Diego is a very interesting city, so if you can, spend some time before or after your cruise to at least explore the harbor area. There are lots of great restaurants and a wonderful walk along the marina with many interesting shops and scenic sights.

Holland America is so organized that you embark with the feeling of being taken care of right from the get-go! The ship leaves at 5:00 p.m. and the city is so beautiful with all the Christmas lights on the tall buildings and along the harbor. This exquisite vista makes for a wonderful “Bon Voyage” picturesque setting.

The Holland America ship that leaves from San Diego is the MS Oosterdam, and it is so beautifully decorated. Just about everywhere you turn there is a decorated Christmas tree, plus, a huge collection of Christmas decorations of all sorts. The ship also has a great art collection that is on display all year, but at Christmas everything sparkles with a festive flair.

The first day is at sea, but it takes that day to find everything that is available to the guests. Just getting orientated to where your cabin is and where you want to go takes awhile. But it is fun to be adventuresome and check out the whole ship. You certainly will get your exercise for the day if you do it. The MS Oosterdam is classed as a mid-size ship and has a passenger capacity of about 1900 guests. The people that work on the ship are all attuned to you no matter where you are on the ship. Even if someone is sweeping the floor they will stop and ask if they can help you, just in case you are a wee bit lost!

The Verandah Staterooms are an adequate size for one or two (at 254 sq. ft.). Three or more might be a stretch, but it could possibly work with children (not football player-sized children – just little ones!) There is plenty of closet space and if you need more hangers just ask your steward. They are at your beck and call so don’t hesitate to ask questions. If you believe in tipping, then it’s a good idea to start off your cruise with a $20.00 tip for your room steward. They work very hard to please you and if they know you understand that and appreciate their hard work they try even harder to make your journey a special one.

Breakfast in Bed on MS Oosterdam

Breakfast in Bed on MS Oosterdam

The cruise line has adopted an “as you wish” dining option. You can request either a certain time (early or late dinner) or come to the dining room that has open seating and the maitre d’ will find you a table. You might be with several other people, but if they just aren’t your type then the next day you will be with someone else or you can call ahead and reserve a table for just your party. There are also several dining rooms that cost a little extra, but would be very nice for that something special for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Cathedral in Mazatlan

Cathedral in Mazatlan

As far as the ports-of-call in Mexico, they are for you to do as you please. There are many shore excursions available at each port that you may book and pay for on the ship or just go out on your own and do your own thing. It all depends on how active you want to be. The only time you have to be ferried to shore is in Cabo San Lucas, but it’s pretty easy to get on and off the tenders.

On board ship there is wonderful entertainment and on the Christmas cruise there is a special show featuring the whole staff, very inspiring! The children’s program received raves from the parents and there is also a Culinary Arts Center for all kinds of cooking classes.

Check with your cruise agent, Holland America’s website, or call your local AAA office if you are a member and they will handle all the details for you. Ask for their “Holiday Cruise Brochure”.

Holland America’s Christmas Cruise to Mexico makes for a pleasant experience and one that you will look back on as a “very good thing!” Merry Christmas for 2010!


If you go:

Holland America Website:

Mexico Cruises:

Holiday Cruises:

Leave a Reply